COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State University will receive nearly $4.8 million in state funds to help do some of the initial work to renovate Pomerene Hall and nearby buildings thanks to State Controlling Board approval Monday, state Rep. Michael Stinziano says.
“I’m very pleased that The Ohio State University will get state assistance to help modernize and make more efficient these gems on campus,” said Stinziano, a Columbus Democrat whose House district includes OSU. “I look forward to working with Ohio State to see that it has the resources it needs to remain the state’s flagship university.”
According to state records, the project includes a contract with Columbus-based Acock Associates Architects to do the design work and Gilbane Building Co. of Westerville for preconstruction stage services.
As part of Monday’s action, the Controlling Board also approved transferring $15.6 million for the project.
State records say Pomerene Hall is a 73,300-square-foot, three-story building that includes a basement and was constructed in 1922. Oxley Hall is a 30,765-square-foot, three-story building built in 1908 as the university’s first women’s dormitory on campus. Baker Commons is a two-story dining facility built in 1958.
According to state records, Ohio State is developing what is termed The Discovery Themes in order to leverage the University's special strengths to address the technological, social, and environmental stresses that define today's global world.
As the nation's largest and most comprehensive public university, OSU can focus a breadth of expertise on the issues of Health and Wellness, Energy and Environment, and Food Production and Security. All three Discovery Themes will use large amounts of data and Pomerene Hall and Oxley Hall will be the hub of the first Discovery Theme initiative: Data Analytics. The new Data Analytics headquarters will house newly recruited faculty experts and research space dedicated to synthesizing and understanding big data across numerous disciplines. Pomerene and Oxley Halls are ideal locations for the Data Analytics Program because of their position on Neil Avenue and 12th Avenue where they are close to both the academic core and the health sciences districts, the state said in public records.
State documents say OSU plans to renovate Pomerene and Oxley halls to house the Data Analytics program and will renovate a part of Baker Commons to house the Office of Disability Services which will move out of Pomerene Hall.
Made up of six state lawmakers and a representative of the governor’s office, the State Controlling board has the final say over some of the state’s larger spending projects.